pre/pro---Need help Please

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Sri, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. Sri

    Sri Agent

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    I'm looking for a good pre/pro and a decent 2 channel amp. My budget is $1500-2500 for both but would rather keep it under $2000 if possible. I need your expertise and really appreciate the help. I seldom use the system for music so it's fair to say 90% for movies. The 2 channel amp I'm looking for could be for the rear channels.
    I initially looked at AVM20 for about $2800 (new) but couldn't justify the price. I also thought of B&K ref50 but am worried about the whine. I read a lot about outlaw 950/rotel 1066 but need your opinions. Since I use it mostly for movies would it make sense go the outlaw route or pick up a used Lexicon or a new B&K ref50. Please help me and Thank you all for your help.

    My system is as follows:
    Diva 6.1
    Diva center
    Diva 2.1
    Diva r3
    PSB subsonic 7 - 2 of them
    Anthem mca5.
     
  2. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    If you are only going to be using the unit for movies, I would suggest the Outlaw. It is only $900, and the movie performance is nothing short of excellent. While it doesnt have some of the tweakability features of the Anthem, and the 2 channel listning is much to be desired, if the units are only going to be used for HT then it is hard to justify the Anthem or B&K for 3x the price. As for the amp, if it is only for the fronts, look for either and Anthem (slightly bright side of neutral) or a Rotel (warm side of neutral). I would think the Rotel would mate better with the Oulaw in terms of sound. Or if you really want to make the Diva's sing, look for an Odyssey Stratos.
     
  3. Roger Kaufmann

    Roger Kaufmann Stunt Coordinator

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    Sri,

    I auditioned quite a few Pre-Pro's including the AVM20, Tag McLaren AV32R, Rotel 1066, Proceed AVP and Lexicon MC-1 before selecting the Ref 50. I wasn't aware of the whine issue some are experiencing until after I had taken delivery so naturally I was alarmed (like you) and started looking for it; however my unit doesn't have it. From what I can tell B&K is aware some units have an issue and are taking reactive methods of fixing it. I wouldn't be afraid of the Ref 50 but strongly recommend you can take some time to audition it and other Pre-Pros and then decide which you like. If you are sold on the Ref 50 request your dealer let you listen to your unit before taking delivery, that way you don't have to take one if it does have a whine. Frankly it seems that even those units that do have a whine is not affecting the listening pleasure of most of the owners and is more an annoyance because it is not heard when material is played!

    That being said enjoy auditioning all the contenders, there are quite a few out there right now!

    Cheers,
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I'm happy with my Outlaw 950 and recommend it, but you really can't go wrong in that range.
     
  5. JohnKings

    JohnKings Stunt Coordinator

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    Sri:

    I recently purchased an Outlaw 950 and I must admit I went into the purchase with quite a bit of trepidation. That said, the processor really amazes me in HT. It absolutely destroys my old setup (Denon AVR-3802 w/ Parasound amps). The channel separation is incredible and the detail is crystal clear. The thing is far and away more dynamic than any receiver-based setup I have ever heard. I think people are accurate when they say the 2-channel is a little bit lacking, but it is also better than my old setup. I would really recommend you audition this unit. It is the benchmark for cost vs. performance. Its stunning... really!

    One last thing, the company's customer service is the best I have ever seen - period.

    John
     
  6. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Sri, if HT is very important to you then a decent receiver with preouts will do as good a job as the Outlaws and the Rotels of this world. If you want good 2 channel performance then moving up to the B&K Ref50 or Anthem is your ticket.
    On the other hand if 6.1/7.1 is not important to you then look for a good used Lexicon v4.0(THX-EX) or Ref 30(THX-EX)
    or even a Signature 2.0.
    One more option would be to go with a receiver like the Denon 3803 or the Sony DA4ES and throw a 2 channel preamp in the loop which will give you the best of both worlds and fit in your budget.
     
  7. Sri

    Sri Agent

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    Thanks guys! This is very helpful for me.

    Nick, I would like to have 7.1. You make a valid point about using a receiver as a preamp/pro. If so, what would that be? Is there a big difference in say Outlaw 950 vs Harmon Kardon 525 processing for movies. Again, any help is great.
     
  8. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    If you are considering a receiver instead of a pre/pro, then try to audition a RSX-1055. Almost the exact same pre/pro unit as the RSP1066, but with 5x75 watts of amplification and a tuner. Easily bested the HK520 and Denon 3803 in my audition process. The 1055 and the Outlaw were equal in terms of HT prowess, with the 1055 taking the cake for music modes (both units used only as pre/pros), and the Outlaw bested the HK520 for movies.
     
  9. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Sri, you will find many opinions out here and please take them for what they are worth. They are only opinions based upon peoples hearing and testing abilities. With that said, I will give you my own opinion about receivers and prepros based upon my own listening and testing abilities.
    I tried various receivers and prepros and went with the Sony DA4ES as a prepro to go with my AMC amps and am extremely happy with my setup.
    The Sony did equally or better than everything I tested including the prepros from Rotel and Outlaw. (My wife almost gave up on me with so much equipment lying around).
    The Sony offered me everything I was looking for in a prepro with seperate 6.1/7.1 inputs for DVD-A and SACD. It has 5 EQ settings with variable crossovers for individual speakers. It was the most cumbersome of products to tweak but once I got everything adjusted, I concluded that it could not be beat at least in HT. I am also very satisfied with the detail it offers on 2 channel music and the EQ is an absolutely wonderful tool to overcome an accoustically challenged room.
    If you are using this setup mostly for movies then by all means go with a receiver as a prepro and you won't be disappointed. Many put a lot of emphasis on 2 channel music but if you are not critical enough and it is a fine line, then a receiver will satisfy you as much as a dedicated prepro for 2 channel music especially when compared to the Outlaw or Rotel. I have an older Proton processor for 2 channel music and combined with my 4ES makes an incredible HT and music system, hope this helped.
     
  10. JohnKings

    JohnKings Stunt Coordinator

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    Sri:

    Listen, if possible, to an entry level seperates setup (like the outlaw 950 or Rotel 1066 w/ your choice of amps) and the Sony Da4es and I am confident you will hear a big difference in home theater. Even with an outboard amp and the Sony, I am confident that you will find the entry level pre/pro to be more revealing and dynamic than a $700 reciever's preamp. I found the difference to be quite obvious when comparing my current and former systems. This is all of course my own humble opinion.

    John
     

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